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Cần Thơ tourism needs 'quality labels': workshop

Update: March, 23/2017 - 13:15

CẦN THƠ — Community-based tourism service providers in the Mekong Delta City of Cần Thơ need to be evaluated and classified by a “quality label”, a workshop in the city has heard.

The workshop, entitled “Green, Clean and Beautiful Initiatives toward urban prosperity and sustainable development”, was held Tuesday by the Cần Thơ People’s Committee and the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN Habitat).

Speaking at the event, Vice Chairwoman of the municipal People’s Committee Võ Thị Hồng Anh said the city has made many efforts to develop green tourism over the past five years, which has resulted in an increased number of tourist arrivals and more foreign direct investment (FDI) concentrated in the field.

However, the local tourism industry has not fully tapped its potential, which includes native folk culture and a system of canals and rivers with various tropical fruits, she noted, adding that the city needs a more comprehensive plan for tourism growth.

According to the city’s plan on tourism development towards 2030, Cần Thơ will develop tours in which visitors can experience local river life and enjoy wandering around gardens of tropical fruits. It will also offer lessons about  local history from cultural and historical relics, the vice chairwoman said.

Cultural and ecology tours in the city and the Mekong Delta in general vary considerably in price and service quality, Prof Lee Seung-oo from Kangwon National University stated.

He emphasised the need for the city to evaluate their service quality and classify them by “quality labels” to prevent them from providing poor services while overcharging tourists.

The assessment should be based on a transparent set of standards through which authorities can study successful models of community-based tourism in Việt Nam and other countries for reference to develop such standards.

Business household should also be offered soft loans to improve their tours and services, he added.

According to Prof Kim Kwi-gon, President of the RoK-based International Urban Training Centre, authorities and travel agencies should act as a bridge between tourists and the locals that provide community-based tourism services. Relevant state bodies should help them get education in management, communication and foreign languages to serve tourists better and make their livelihood more sustainably. — VNS

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